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Tony Brass





Joined: 15 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2007 1:49 pm    Post subject: Jody Samson style wrap         Reply with quote

I am looking to do a Jody Samson style pig-skin grip wrap. How hard is it to find materials for this? Also, any recommendations on how to do it. I loke the cool barbarian look
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Greyson Brown




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2007 4:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tony,

Pigskin isn't very hard to find. Tandy leather only sells by the hide, but they have it in their lining leather section. The trick is that the stuff can be awfully stiff, so the edges may not want to lay as flat as you would like. As for actually doing the grip wrap, it looks to me like it is just a spiral wrap that overlaps itself a little bit each time (I'm assuming you are refering to a grip like the one on Jody Samson's Warlard sword in the review section). You should be able to just use a long strip of leather, cut one corner at an angle to get started, glue that bit in place and start wrapping. On the Warlord sword that I mentioned, Jody obviously started at the pommel end of the grip, but that is probably just a matter of preference.

Personally, I would make sure there is glue over most or all of the grip core so that you don't have sections wanting to come undone. With this style of wrap, you could probably put the leather on dry, but I think you are going to want to dampen it slighly, and use a bone knife or other tool (I have used scrap bits of wood, the bottle opener on my swiss army knife, and plastic clay molding tools; you can also make your own out of a plastic cutting board like you would find at Wal-Mart) to compress the leather a bit and highlight the seams.

Hopefully that explaination makes sense. If not, let me know.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2007 6:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are we sure she uses "pig skin?" I am curious if she does, and what it would be like.

In a prior post Peter Johnson had said ..."Leather should be thin. About 1 mm is good. Best effect will be by using vegetable tanned calf or goat skin (Goat skin is *perfect* and very hard wearing). It is expensive and sometimes hard to get. "

O.K, now I see. Shan-Aan does the pig skin style wrap that reminds me of what is normally done on athletic equipment....

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Tony Brass





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PostPosted: Sat 20 Oct, 2007 11:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Greyson

That helps a lot. I am a bit confused about the cutting board bit, but I get the idea. I think trimming the ends at the guard and pommel would be the trick. Also. finding a good strip of pigskin.

Thanks again. I'll post pics of the result, or the calamity.
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared,

Most of Jody Samson's stuff is done with pigskin, but not all. If you look through the stuff listed on his site (www.jodysamson.com), he lists pigskin, ray skin, deer skin, and I am fairly certain there are some mentions of calf skin. Some just say leather, but many of these have the distinctive texture of pigskin.

Tony,

Sorry about the cutting board reference. I was in a hurry and didn't have much time to explain myself. If you get a plastic cutting board, you can cut out various shaped tools from it, and sand them down to be smooth. This can be a really nice cheap alternative to buying some of the purpose built leather working tools. Pretty much any smooth firm item that will compress the leather without marring the surface should work.

As for getting the ends right, I would start by practicing with a piece of cloth or even paper. That should help you figure out how long a piece needs to be and what affect you get with different angles or widths. The other possibility is to use some cord to tie the starting end in place while you wrap the rest (and maybe do the same at the other end when you finish), then, once it is dry, cut off the excess. I don't think the edges would turn out quite the way I want, but it might help, and some wax or shoe polish could be used to smooth the cut edge.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company


Last edited by Greyson Brown on Mon 22 Oct, 2007 8:26 am; edited 1 time in total
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Ray Harrington




Location: lodi, CA
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PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2007 8:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I like using pigskin, it's not that stretchy or expensive, I got a little over 5 sq feet for about $10 from Tandy leather.
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Sam Barris




Location: San Diego, California
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PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2007 3:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
Are we sure she uses "pig skin?" I am curious if she does, and what it would be like.

http://jodysamson.com/about.htm
Razz

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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Ed Toton




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PostPosted: Thu 25 Oct, 2007 1:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"Look at them sideburns! He looks like a girl. Now, Johnny Unitas, there's a haircut you could set your watch to."
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Anders Backlund




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Oct, 2007 8:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sam Barris wrote:
Jared Smith wrote:
Are we sure she uses "pig skin?" I am curious if she does, and what it would be like.

http://jodysamson.com/about.htm
Razz


I admit, Jared's post did have me go: "Daym, Jody's a woman?" Eek!

Thank you for clearing that up. Laughing Out Loud

EDIT: Also, Jody looks badass!
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Tony Brass





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Oct, 2007 10:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any Joe Namath reference warms the heart. But back to my grip for a sec...

What kind of glue do you recommend?

Also, any advice for removing the current grip which is glued on so tight, I'm just tempted to wrap the pigskin over the leather that is already on there.

Thanks.
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My bad... sorry. I had always assumed "Jody" was a she. I hope he does not hold grudges!

There are some women who do good quality blacksmithing, including my personal holy favorite; pattern welding. There was a video of one working at pattern welding on the Phoenix Forging Hammers' web site. To my way of thinking, women should not be counted out as craftsmen or lethal fencers.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Greyson Brown




Location: Windsor, Colorado
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 4:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Tony Brass wrote:
What kind of glue do you recommend?

Also, any advice for removing the current grip which is glued on so tight, I'm just tempted to wrap the pigskin over the leather that is already on there.

Thanks.


My experience with removing existing leather is limited to Windlass/MRL swords and restarts on my own projects, but I was usually able to do fine once I had a section started. That sometimes meant using a pair of pliers to get a good grip.

As for glue, it kind of depends on what you want. I have used hide glue as well as regular Elmer's wood glue. The hide glue is more historically accurate, and flows better (which can mean more complete coverage), but, because it flows so well, is hard to avoid getting EVERYWHERE. It can also be a little brittle if you get an area at the seem where there is a small gap.

Elmer's wood glue is easier to find (and may be slightly cheaper, but I don't think there is a huge difference). It does not flow as well, so you might get small air pockets (this really shouldn't be an issue, but those areas don't take texture quite as well if you are doing a cord overwrap (which you're not doing in this case, but may be relevant on future projects)). Clean-up is easier, though, as it doesn't get everywhere. It's not as brittle as hide glue, but it has that distinct yellow color if you do end up with a spot where the leather gaps.

I've also heard of people using things like barge cement, but I don't have any experience with those.

-Grey

"So long as I can keep the path of honor I am well content."
-Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The White Company
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Oct, 2007 8:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you use carpenter's wood glue, it can be diluted (roughly 1 part water to 4 parts glue) to make it flow better. I recommend lightly coating both the leather and wood core.

I am wondering if this style wrap is actually glued? It is possible to simply tie such a wrap (clove hitch, was an old boyscout style of adding a leather grip to a walking staff.) A slicker technique is shown here; http://www.carvingpatterns.com/canes/grip.htm
These seem to work well with smaller cord. For a wide wrap like this, one would have to taper the ends to enable them to draw up tight underneath the visible winds. I suspect one could do both this and some glue and it would still be easy to change later.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct, 2007 6:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

To help with the thread itself, yes, if you distill and follow the advice given in this thread, you will get somewhere reasonably and pleasingly close. There are some nuances and additional steps that she uses, which is why they have that neat distinctive style. The materials used aren't terribly expensive or hard to find, and if you practice on a length of dowel or handrail, you can experiment to get the outcome you desire before working on your actual piece.

Best of luck with it, and I (and likely many others) would like to see the outcome of your labors!

Jared Smith wrote:
My bad... sorry. I had always assumed "Jody" was a she. I hope he does not hold grudges! ...

... To my way of thinking, women should not be counted out as craftsmen or lethal fencers.


To set the record straight (stern "voice" to be taken tongue-in-cheek please):

1) Jody is a he. To the best of my knowledge, always has been. Oh, and aluminum meat grinders do melt... (I totally kid Razz )
2) "She" is actually accurate. Shan-Aan, his apprentice, my lovely bride, does his cutlery work, therefore all the grips. That's the reason most of the swords listed on his site have the caption "grip by Shan-Aan" or something to that effect listed there...
3) Shan-Aan is a phenomenal artist in her own right. Feel free to check out a small sampling of her work on her in-house artisan page here: Shan-Aan's page
4) Shan-Aan also regularly fences in the German longsword arts and occasionally in the Italian, I:33, and medieval dagger work, dedicating somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 hours a week to her studies... and I have plenty of aches and pains and a lump or two to show for it. She's quite an effective swordswoman - tough as nails, no fear, wicked fast.
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Tony Brass





Joined: 15 Oct 2006

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PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct, 2007 9:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you Aaron for sharing that information. I am looking for just the right strip of goat or pigskin. I am practicing with everything from paper, to chamois. I am still nervour about unwrapping one of my expensive swords, and doing the new grip. Would Shan-Aan consider being hired for the job? I do not mean to insult her talent, I realize that she is an amazing artist, but it sounds like she's a sword fan also, so I thought I would inquire.
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Aaron Schnatterly




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct, 2007 3:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry it took a bit for me to respond (via PM) - net's finicky here at home, off more than on. Who knows... you might have 8 copies of the same thing.

Tony Brass wrote:
... but it sounds like she's a sword fan also...


Brother, you have no idea... fanatic is likely more appropriate. One day I went to her a little sheepishly... "Baby... I ordered a Svante." Response: "Cool. Where ya going to put it?" We designed and built a bookshelf for it, where it sits on the top shelf on a PoB stand with lights shining down on it.
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Sam Barris




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PostPosted: Wed 31 Oct, 2007 10:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aaron Schnatterly wrote:
"She" is actually accurate. Shan-Aan, his apprentice, my lovely bride... She's quite an effective swordswoman - tough as nails, no fear, wicked fast.

Lucky devil. Big Grin

Pax,
Sam Barris

"Any nation that draws too great a distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards, and its fighting done by fools." —Thucydides
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